'It feels like the right time, project and club' - Kieran McKenna named new Ipswich Town manager

Manchester United assistant manager Kieran McKenna before the Premier League match at the Etihad Sta

Kieran McKenna has signed a three-and-a-half year deal as Ipswich Town's new manager. - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town have appointed Kieran McKenna as the club's new manager.

The 35-year-old Northern Irishman, who has been a first team coach at Manchester United for the last three-and-a-half years, signs a three-and-a-half year deal at Portman Road to become the 19th (and youngest) manager in the club’s history.

Joining McKenna in making the move from Old Trafford is Martyn Pert. The 43-year-old, who was also a key member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's staff, will be assistant manager.

The duo will won't officially start work until after this weekend's near sell-out home clash with Sunderland, with John McGreal remaining interim boss for that League One clash.

“I’d like to thank (chief executive) Mark Ashton and the owners for putting their faith in me and Martyn to take the club forward,” McKenna told the club website.

"Leaving a club like Manchester United was obviously a difficult decision, but I strongly believe in the opportunity to build something here.

"It feels like the right time, project and club to make my first step into first-team management.

"For now, the focus for the team has to be on a huge game on Saturday. After that, I cannot wait to meet everyone and get to work."

Manchester United fitness coach Charlie Owen (right), first team coach Martyn Pert and first team co

Martyn Pert (centre) is Ipswich Town's new assistant manager. - Credit: PA

Most Read

Ashton said: "I’m delighted to officially welcome Kieran and Martyn to the club.

"Kieran is a highly-respected young coach who has been working at the top level of English football and with one of the biggest clubs in world football for a number of years in Manchester United.

"He comes to the club with pedigree within the game and with exciting plans about how he is going to take the team forward. When we met, there was a clear meeting of minds in terms of how we will execute the vision of this football club.

"I’d like to reiterate my thanks to John McGreal, Kieron Dyer, Rene Gilmartin and Carl Pentney for stepping up to take care of first-team duties during the interim period. They will remain in charge for Saturday’s game against Sunderland.

"Finally, I’d like to place on record our gratitude to Ed Woodward and Manchester United for their professionalism and approach."

McKenna and Pert will speak to the media on Monday before preparing the team for a Boxing Day game at Gillingham.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter